Chandler kindergarten teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

Jan 24, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: Jan 31, 2023, 12:30 pm

PHOENIX —  An East Valley elementary school teacher was named KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show’s Pay Tribute to a Teacher winner for January, presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers.

Kimberly Shuck is a teacher at Carlson Elementary School in Chandler. Most of her 19 years spent as a teacher have been to young students, with 17 years dedicated to teaching kindergarteners.

“She has selflessly inspired hundreds of students to realize their true potential academically and instilling confidence, self-worth and a proud sense of belonging. The growth witnessed in her students is unparalleled,” one letter writer said, prompting them to enter her in for the $2,500 prize.

Last November, Shuck’s life changed forever. Days before Thanksgiving, she fell extremely ill while teaching in class and was informed by doctors she had a cancerous brain tumor.

The 40-year-old teacher has been focusing on recovery after she had brain surgery the following week, but her journey to healing isn’t over. She just started 6-week radiation treatments and chemotherapy, with plans to continue chemotherapy for about a year.

As Shuck is determined to stay healthy, she won’t be returning to the classroom for at least six weeks, but looks forward to when she can.

“Young students, they’re just so eager to please and be there, but their stories and the things that they say, I laugh, like big belly laugh on a daily basis and I came up to Chandler two years later and so I’ve been teaching kindergarten for 17 years,” Shuck said.

She added: “You’ll probably think it’s corny but there really is something to watching a person struggle with something and then when their lightbulb turns on and they get it and that look of accomplishment on their face — that’s why teachers are in it.”

The kindergarten teacher said she will use the reward to put toward medical bills, the classroom and possibly take her family, her husband and four children, on a road trip.

“Carlson Elementary is the ‘Home of the Champions’ and it couldn’t ring truer for Mrs. Shuck as she slayed her first opponent and had her tumor removed,” the letter writer said.

“But up next is the title fight she’s been training for her whole life. I like Mrs. Shuck’s odds as she’s a true warrior that never backs down and always is there for everyone no matter how big or small the feat is.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Tucson Police Department)...

Associated Press

Man already serving life sentence convicted of killing Tucson girl who vanished from parents’ home

A man already serving a life sentence was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the killing of another Tucson girl years earlier.

1 hour ago

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was...

Danny Shapiro

Suspect indicted on manslaughter charge in death of fellow IRS agent in Phoenix

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was indicted on a manslaughter charge, authorities announced Friday.

2 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

3 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: A closer look at the alleged cover-up of Preston Lord’s fatal beating

Arizona Republic investigative reporters Robert Anglen and Elena Santa Cruz join guest host Kristin Bentz to further explain the latest developments in the Preston Lord investigation. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

4 hours ago

A sign in front of a building identifies Valleywise Behavioral Health Center – Maryvale in Phoeni...

Kevin Stone

Valleywise Health replenishing mental health care capacity after staffing setback

Valleywise Health is working to replenish its mental health care capacity after cutting back because of staffing shortages in 2022.

4 hours ago

Split image of a Spin e-scooter on the left and the boundary map for Phoenix's Shared Micromobility...

Kevin Stone

Phoenix pilot program allows e-scooter, e-bike and bicycle rentals 24 hours a day

Phoenix is expanding its Shared Micromobility Program on a trial basis, allowing e-bike, e-scooter and bicycle riders to rent and roll all night.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Chandler kindergarten teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute